As Christmas nears and the festive seasons begins, we’ve decided to down tools between December 24th and January 5th and join in the fun
It’s a time to recharge our batteries, enjoy a few festive drinks and give the little mice a break.
For any last minute Christmas crackers, do give us a call
Google ‘designers and clients’ and you’ll find a whole host of articles from designers, damning clients and bemoaning projects that have gone wrong.
Some silly, some amusing, these comments have one overriding central point: it’s gone to custard and it’s all the client’s fault.
Obviously, it’s a very one-sided perspective that fails to address one very simple issue: designers are often part of the problem.
Clients eh, who said they’re all the same?
Each year we’re faced with a range of different client challenges, from the familiar to the frankly bizarre. So when we were asked to help design some beach huts for Debenhams to go in a shopping centre in Istanbul, we weren’t quite sure what category to put this request in.
However, the joy of every day being different is the tasks you’re presented with and the new set of challenges they come with.
Little Yellow Duck is pleased to have been appointed by Scoop Asset Management to design and develop their new website.
Scoop are a privately owned specialist retail asset manager, with a focus on shopping centre investments and development situations within the UK.
Established to take advantage of strategic buying opportunities in the UK commercial property investment market, scoop identifies unique opportunities that deliver above average risk adjusted returns.
Delete, delete, junk, delete, junk.
How many of us go through the same frustrating ritual when accessing our email? It’s a daily, time-consuming nuisance. And it highlights how poorly-targeted most email communication is.
Okay, I’ll admit that the one entitled ‘I am finally come face-to-face with angry trouser man’* did catch my attention. But ‘1 Big Secret to Fast & Permanent Fat Loss’ – like dozens of others offering everything from Canadian pharmaceuticals to ‘insider’ stock market information - slipped into the junk folder at the speed of light.
As we all know, email is a cost-effective method of marketing communication. But there’s nothing effective about the unconsidered deluge of rubbish that weighs down our mailboxes every day.
Is a locust plague of mediocrity killing off great work, or is it merely blocking our view?
There’s a lot of rubbish out there.
I’m sure you’ve seen it – the amateurish Photoshop ads, the desperate blogs that scream ‘read me’ without any actual marketing value, the thousands of tweets scrolling down your phone pimping links to badly-designed websites.
So it’s no surprise that during a new business meeting recently, a potential client asked me: “Is the standard of creativity falling in the UK?” It was the same question a friend asked when we were discussing last year’s Direct Marketing Awards entries.
In our industry, it’s worrying when you hear this, particularly when you know just how good things can be.
Got a spare desk in your office?
Then why not join the ‘Open Studio’s Free Desk Here’ initiative.
Described by founder Nick Couch as a physical Linkedin, where people can meet people in a ‘more meaningful way than just adding someone to the 500+ list’ and hopefully do some work at the same time.
Usually nothing when you move from one grey office environment to other, unless of course your fortunate enough to work in one of our countries more fascinating architectural buildings.
So when we decided to move into larger premises, it wasn’t just a bigger space we found ourselves in, but a grade II listed building formerly know as the Hawker Aircraft Experimental Shop.
Quick… when was the last time you sat down and thought about your ABC’s?
If you think the alphabet is just for little kids – and not something that your small business can benefit from – think again! Even though you might struggle to get the song out of your head for the next few hours, these ABC’s can spell success when it comes to local SEO and your small business:
If you’re smart enough to run a business, you probably think you know all you need to – especially when it comes to vocabulary. However, if you plan on mastering your small business’ SEO, you’ve got to learn three new words.
No, you won’t find them in any dictionary – but if you don’t understand what they mean, all of the big, fancy words you DO know won’t be of any use to you!
There are tons of tutorials that explain how to physically get onto the web – like how to find a good hosting company, how to find the right web designer (or how to set up pre-packaged themes yourself).
But once you do all of that, how do you actually get SEEN?
What's black and white and red all over? Well, possibly a sunburnt penguin, or simply a newspaper (if you replace 'red' with 'read', which is easier said than written, but you get the idea).
The answer could also be Google Algorithm Updates. First we had an invasion of Pandas, and whilst not necessarily of Kung Fu origins, they certainly kicked, erm, the bottoms of many a deserving website.
The word Moustache is French and is derived from the Italian mostaccio. Well, so it says on Wikipedia.
Although the World Beard and Moustache Championships define six categories for moustaches (The Natural, Hungarian, Dali, English, Imperial and Freestyle), I tend to associate the moustache with watching too many episodes of Fu Manchu; German fashion and a certain character called Borat.
As an integrated communications agency, we were amused recently to receive a direct mail pack from Google.
Surely a giant of online advertising doesn’t send out direct mail? So why are Google putting things in the post?
In fact a direct mail pack from Google shows how joined-up marketing thinking really works. Google wanted to reach out to agencies to increase their propensity to include AdWords online advertising in marketing proposals. So what would be the format that would best gain our attention and convey a sometimes complex message?
The term ‘brand’ is a confusing term for many, yet it’s freely and liberally used in many conversations. We hear it on an almost daily basis... but every time we do, it’s nearly always a reference to a company’s desire to redesign its identity, refresh its website or deliver a message to a particular target audience.
Whilst these are essential components for many brands, there is so much more involved. In fact your brand is composed of five key parts – positioning, storytelling, design, price, and customer relationships.
I’m sure that it won’t just be retailers who experience a downturn, if not stagnation, from the effect of a full summer of celebrations. To say our phone lines went quiet would be an understatement.
So how can businesses of all types make budgets stretch further?
Why not follow the Olympic example and invest in Teamwork, otherwise known as Partnership or Affinity Marketing.
Your business has a website. Who cares if it’s not that visible on the latest Samsung Galaxy or iphone 4?
The truth of the matter is that you should care. Research shows that 50%(1) of users accessing your website on a mobile won’t ever return after a bad experience. To bring that home that’s 50% of your mobile users lost as potential customers
But so what? If only 5% of people accessing your site are using mobile anyway this figure only represents 2.5% of your audience.
Occasionally I download music from the internet, (legitimately, of course). I purchase CDs from Amazon and, every now and then, I try to find a music shop in the local high street where I spend a few minutes making a number of informed and random purchases. It’s fun, that was until I ventured into HMV last week.
Ok I admit I haven’t wandered in for a number of months, but what’s happened? Why does the store resemble something that hurricane Katrina might have blown through? Perhaps the store had been looted prior to my entrance?
Okay we confess, we should have completed this project a while ago when we launched the latest incarnation of the Little Yellow Duck website.
It wasn't just client projects that kept us away from doing so, it was also the desire not to simply produce a visually scaled down version of the existing site for mobile usage.
Barely a generation ago, the average office was a very different place. Not least for the dodgy fashions and lack of equality. Back then being green and saving the planet was the preserve of a few long-haired hippies.
Skip forward just a few decades to the digital age and virtually every single company is proudly displaying their green credentials. Hot-desking, job-sharing and working from home all contribute to reducing our carbon footprint. Printing – what’s that? What little paper that’s used has been recycled umpteen times. Even our office pens are recycled.
Panic, bewilderment and confusion… three of the words I can use in association with the revised ePrivacy Directive, EU legislation that was originally implemented in May 2011.
The revised legislation replaces the ‘notice and opt out’ requirements for cookies and other technologies for ‘the storing of information or the gaining of access to information stored in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user’.
Hold on a minute. Cookies? Terminal Equipment? For the latter read computer, mobile phone or tablet. For the former, a cookie is a piece of data that’s downloaded onto your computer when you visit a new site. Next time you visit that site it finds the cookie and knows you’ve been there before.
Keep your wits about you and don’t believe anything you read without checking the date….. yes, April Fool’s Day is on the horizon.
The most infamous TV hoax was on Panorama in 1957 where Richard Dimbleby managed to persuade a sizeable number of listeners that spaghetti really grew on trees!
There’s a lot of buzz and hype in social media land about the new guy on the block. Over 10 million users and counting already and it’s still invite only (well kind of…….you can request an invite!).
Pinterest enables you to ‘pin’ to your own boards the content & images that you love from around the web. I like to think of it as a more sensible version of the mess of torn-out articles and pictures that adorn my fridge door. So you can create pinboards about whatever you like…….such as bucket lists, dream holiday destinations and favourite recipes. Whispers abound that it’s much more fun, more addictive and better looking than Twitter.
We’ve all got a stash of visuals that never quite made the grade, nor won the account or were simply rejected in favour of another of our ideas.
Once upon a time these would have been filed away in a portfolio and parked on shelf until the next spring clean. Nowadays they’re primarily parked away in some form of digital archive never to be seen again.
Fantastic news. In October we were appointed by one of the UK’s leading coffee companies to develop a creative rationale, website and online activity for their leading own-label Fairtrade coffee.
Stocked by major supermarkets Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, our brief is to revitalise the brand following a recent redesign of its packaging. A lack of huge budgets has prevented our client from going head to head with the coffee majors so our aim is to target niche users, who care about the provenance, taste and value of the products they buy.
Is it every marketers dream to create an ad campaign that goes viral, where the circulation ends up in millions, far surpassing any budget they may have been able to afford?
I know as a creative marketer I would love to put my name behind a hugely successful campaign but it’s not for the faint hearted. For every campaign that succeeds there are probably many more that don’t even reach the consciousness.
The volume of mail sent in the UK has been reducing at a rapidly accelerating rate over recent years, from 21.5 billion items in 2007/08, to 18.8 billion in 2009/10*.
And it’s easy to see why; direct mail is time-consuming and costly to produce, let alone to post. Add to that the reduction in Royal Mail collections and deliveries and you can see why many companies have turned to the internet as a cost-effective way of reaching out to customers.
Why spend thousands printing brochures that cost even more to post, when customers can just look things up on the internet – and virtually for free.
iTunes is a wonderful thing and I have my own inexhaustible collection of songs sitting on my iphone library ready for me to shuffle through at a moment’s notice. But the truth is I never do.
Although iTunes has revolutionized the music industry it’s also destroyed a part of it. When I download my, first and only album, from iTunes I felt an immense sense of sadness. Yes, I could find the album I wanted with ease and there was plenty for me to chose from.... but where was the fun?
Alexa is a well known web information company that helps provide a good guide to a website's rankings. At present Little Yellow Duck has a ranking of 3,421,812
The figure given represents the approximate number of web sites in the world that have the popularity higher than the given site. It is expressed in relatively big numbers (the smaller the better).
Alexa ranking is computed and unlike Google rank, it directly reflects the popularity and does not officially depend on links from other sites, directory inclusion, duplicate content and so on.
“Logic and over-analysis can immobilize and sterilize an idea. It’s like love—the more you analyze it, the faster it disappears”.
Famed for his soundbites, as well as his creative brilliance, Bill Bernbach was one of the original advertising greats. Beginning his career as a copywriter, before founding Doyle Dane Bernbach in 1949, his work (and his soundbites) are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago.
How often do you ever see anything new in social media. Something that pushes the boundaries just a little bit and demonstrates a communication channels true possibilities?
The Desperados experience not only pushes the boundaries, it offers a real breakthrough on YouTube
Have a look at youtube.com/desperados
There are a lot of tedious things in life and top of the list has to be the traditional agency portfolio.
You know the sort of thing '.... a team of committed and experienced professional, dedicated to the highest standards of creativity...' and so it drones on and on.